02/20/2012 06:13 EST | Updated 04/21/2012 05:12 EDT

Minors Banned From Tanning: Canadian Cancer Society Concerned About Disease


QUEBEC - The Canadian Cancer Society says minors should be banned from tanning salons.

The organization sounded the alarm Monday at a Quebec legislature committee in the face of a rise in the number of cases of skin cancer among youths.

The society as well as Quebec's institute of public health and the association representing provincial dermatologists wants access to tanning salons limited to people 18 and over.

It also wants a registry of tanning salons set up so inspections can be carried out. It is also calling for marketing to be restricted.

The group is seeking a 10 per cent tax on each session, as is done in the United States, and a ban on package deals.

The cancer society says the unrestricted sale of artificial tanning services has extremely harmful health consequences.

Melanie Champagne, a society spokeswoman, says the number of cases of melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — have doubled in the last 15 years and are expected to double again in the next 15 years if nothing is done.

The group presented petitions signed by 60,000 Quebecers as well as letters of support from 65 groups.

Dr. Joel Claveau, a spokesman for the dermatologists, says the situation is "extremely troubling."

In Canada, youth under 19 are prohibited from using tanning beds in Nova Scotia and under 18 in Victoria.

Minors are banned from tanning salons in Australia and some parts of Europe and the United States.